What does it really take to achieve entrepreneurial success?
From my experience as a business development consultant and entrepreneurial coach, I have seen two different schools of thought on this issue.
1. It Takes WILL To Succeed As An Entrepreneur
The first school of thought believes that entrepreneurial success is a matter of determination –WILL.
The underlying assumption is this; if you are determined to succeed, you will succeed. This underlying assumption is built around the belief that the sheer doggedness of an entrepreneur largely contributes to their entrepreneurial success.
To this school of thought, success is achieved so long as you don’t give up. Entrepreneurial success follows this pattern; the longer you work, the harder you work and the tighter you hold on to your entrepreneurial dreams, success will be yours eventually.
2. It Takes SKILLS To Succeed As An Entrepreneur
The second school of thought believes that entrepreneurial success is a matter of education –SKILL.
The underlying assumption is this; if you are committed to continuous learning, you will succeed. This underlying assumption is built around the belief that the extent to which an entrepreneur acquires relevant business skills, largely contributes to their entrepreneurial success.
To this school of thought, success is achieved so long as you keep improving your knowledge of business. Entrepreneurial success follows this pattern; the more you learn, the smarter you work and the clearer your entrepreneurial dreams become, then success will come!
Entrepreneurial Success: WILL or SKILL?
From my own story and from personal experiences; both the ‘will’ and the ‘skill’ matter when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur.
The will is what got you started on the entrepreneur’s journey in the first place. The will is the passion you carry that you want to translate into reality by building a business that matters. The greatest calamity that can befall any entrepreneur is thinking that passion and determination [will] alone is all you need to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
Beyond passion, beyond determination is education [skill].
Your passion, your determination and motivation needs direction. And that’s where education comes in. No matter how passionate you are about your business, no matter how determined you are about success, nothing will happen until you begin to take informed actions.
And the only source of informed action is education.
Informed action is the difference between entrepreneurs who succeed and those who fail in business. Trying to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams with only passion, determination and motivation –WILL, is what I call; “doing business”–hustlepreneurship.
It’s very counterproductive. Why? Because it is a business powered by energy, rather than strategy. Your energy can only carry you so far, sooner or later; you will run out of energy. Then what happens?
Your energy [will] is limited. There’s only so much you can do alone. That’s why you need strategy, to make sure that your energy is properly dispensed to achieve optimum results. The more you align your energy [will] with strategy , the more entrepreneurial success you will achieve.
EXECUTE your WILL with a SKILL
The will to prepare is the greatest secret to entrepreneurial success. The difference between entrepreneurs who dream and entrepreneurs who achieve their dreams is this; the willingness to prepare.
Your willingness to prepare, to acquire the relevant education, training, or information required to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams; is the secret to entrepreneurial success. Your will [energy] needs to be executed with a skill [strategy].
Without the right skill [strategy] to execute your will [energy], your entrepreneurial success is a gamble. You will keep trying and failing. Eventually, out of frustration or old age, you will give up the hustle.
It’s no use beating around the bush and hoping that your energy will carry you through. That’s the definition of entrepreneurial foolishness. As an entrepreneur, you need to be strategic in ALL that you do regarding your business.
You have to be CLEAR about where you are GOING –vision, goal, or objective.
You have to be DELIBERATE about what you are DOING –execution, action or activities.
You have to be KNOWLEDGABLE about how to DO it –education, information or training.
Entrepreneurial success is a double-sided equation of both willingness and skillfulness. You cannot succeed with only one side of the equation. Your willingness [energy] is the fuel for the journey and your skillfulness [strategy] is the map for the journey.
Without fuel [willingness], you’ll be stuck half-way and without a map [skillfulness], you’ll end up lost. In other words, you need business skills as well as a personal will to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurial Success = Willingness [energy] + Skillfulness [strategy]